Tuesday, June 14, 2005

To The Outsider

Cheeseburger Eddy: I got the shakes that'll make you quake. I got the fries that will cross your eyes. I got the burgers that... will... I just got burgers.
”The Longest Yard”

Saw “The Longest Yard” a few days ago. I have seen the original and the British re-make with Vinnie Jones a few years back. If you haven’t seen those two, then the new one will be an excellent movie. While it is probably the worst of the three, I still loved it. Long time readers would know I am a massive Adam Sandler fan – stupid comedy at it’s greatest. I don’t really care if he plays basically the same character in each movie (which is about 90% true). They set out to make stupid jokes, easy comedy and succeed each time. Anyway, what I really wanted to say about “The Longest Yard” 2005 is about the support cast. The support cast was un-freaking-believable, even better when you consider a lot of them were professional athletes. In particular, Bob Sapp and Kevin Nash put in some great comedy moments. Suffice to say I was impressed – and my opinion of Kevin Nash’s acting abilities before the movie were very low indeed. I’m not saying they had challenging roles, but you could say they played the hand they were dealt perfectly. And Tracy Morgan? Don’t get me started – champagne comedy!

Bonus points to anybody who got the champagne comedy reference.

On to poker, and I have a few quick points to go through before a home game report.

Still sticking it out at Noble. I like to dabble on the penny tables in both forms of Omaha, and they have all been empty for the past week. I did sit down at a $1/$2 limit table (shock, horror) to see if I could get something out of it and clear more of the bonus. I found that the biggest stack at the table, about 50% above the maximum buy in, would call to the river on anything. I did pay to see if he made his flush once, and watched another 2 players do the same and pay him off. Right – now if I could only hit a hand. A big blind special was coming up.

T8o, and I limp to see a TT7 flop. I’m not slow playing this, lets go. 2 bets to 3 players to see the turn. The turn fills me up with an 8, and I get another 2 bets out of the other 2 players. The river is a blessing and a curse – it’s the case T. I had the nuts before the river, and the stone cold Nutty McNutts after it which I thought might scare the action away a little. The small Blind in front of me comes out betting, and I figure I have to raise here – I don’t think a call will get me a re-raise from the chip leader. Fortunately, the chip leader calls the 2-bet again and so does the small blind. Chip leader had a 7 with a nice kicker I think, and the SB only had overs. That hand turned me a profit, and when one player stood up I took my leave too. Quads are nice. I’ve always liked quads.

Onto the home game – and this time I was not host, which has it’s good and bad points. Good, because I don’t have to organise anything, don’t have to disturb the Distraction and don’t have to invite a lot of strangers into my home. Bad, because I can’t drink.

This would be a very different game though, because not only were we running two tables for the first time, with 12 runners, but I was bringing along a friend for his first every money game. He has played for free at my place before, against other rank beginners, and actually came out on top. Today would be his baptism by fire, a $20 freeze-out paying the top 4.

I was seated next to the biggest loud mouth the game has ever seen. Truth be known, the games would be extremely boring and half as much fun without him, not that I would ever say that to his face. It was great fun, trading barbs back and forth.

“What would this game be without you – besides enjoyable.”

“This might not be the first time he’s been here, but it is the first time he’s been invited.”

Unfortunately, he became the short stack very early on and was the first to go all-in at our table. The bet was $1K, raised on the SB by the chip leader. The short stack goes all-in for an extra $3K, and the chip leader thinks about it and folds. I informed him that I would make that call with the instruction cards.

True to my word, the very next hand when the short stack goes all-in I call with K2h. He shows A6c, and we have a race. The flop brings two hearts and a club, and the tension builds. The turn, another club, the river brings his runner-runner flush (he was ahead after the turn anyway, but what does it matter.). I’ve given the voice some more chips.

At the next orbit, myself on the BB again, we have one caller in middle position and the short stack goes all-in for about $6K, blinds being $300/$600. I re-raise to $20K, which I think sent a loud enough message. Fuck off, I want him. This is probably not the best poker play, but this game is more for fun anyway. He shows TT, by far the best hand he has had all night (he was cold decked something shocking). I show my best hand all night, Cowboys. And one more joined me on the flop, which was good enough to float through to the river. It did little to quiet him down, but at least I had one up on him from now on.

I managed to knock one other player out, with a little pre-raising and on a ten high flop, I put out a bet UTG. He thought about it, and then pushed. I had him covered, and if I won we would be down to the final table of six. I held KT, top pair with an ok kicker. I think he has AK-AJ, I doubt he hit anything and I don’t believe that he would be going this strong with an over-pair in the hole. The player is from a new group who I have never played against before and seems pretty decent. I call, and show my cards. I could see the disappointment on his face but he manages to applaud my call as he flips over 88, which didn’t match anything on the board. The turn and river come without incident and we are down to the final table. It was a big call, and even though my read was wrong, it was still for the right reasons I think. He showed class in getting knocked out too, which was good to see and makes these friendly games all the better.

The final table is very aggressive, and no hands goes un-raised pre flop. I loose a chunk on one hand when I tried to scare off a medium stack with 2 diamonds showing – I had Adx and he pushed. I couldn’t call, even though I think he was on a draw too. I had to wait for a decent hand.

We get down to the bubble, and from middle position I raise with QT, the best hand I’ve seen in the last hour. Folded around to the BB, the host, who says he hasn’t played a pot with me yet and is looking forward to it.

Flop comes 46T. I make a bet, he calls.

Turn comes a 3 (from memory, it is a little fuzzy). He puts out a bet, and I think about what he could have and then made a silly move – I pushed. I don’t know why I thought top pair would be good, maybe he had crap and his two pair or maybe he had an over-pair and was trapping me? I don’t know why I did push, but it took him 0.48 milli-seconds to call. He showed 57o for the nut straight, and I was drawing dead to the river – which was another ten. Silly, silly move and I paid for it. My friend who came along sat at the other table to me, and he was the first one knocked out at his table, second overall.

While the final money places were being sorted out (very slowly), the rest of us losers decided to start up a 7 man game for $10 buy in, pay top 3. My friend said he would be happy to watch – even though I offered to pony up the buy in for him. The loud mouth though wouldn’t take no for an answer – he paid for him and demanded he sit down, saying he doesn’t care about the money, he’s just here to have fun and play cards. I’ll come back to this after I talk about the game.

The loud mouth was first one out, which I consoled him for – “At least you weren’t the first one out in the other game too. Oh, hang on…”. Kick ‘em while their down I say.

My reluctant-to-play friend was a bit of a calling station, but I believe was correct in doing so. There were obvious attempts to buy the pot from him a few times, and he called with top of middle pair to beat out busted straights or Ace high. One player even said he’s like herpes – you just can’t get rid of him. He won about 6 pots in a row and built a healthy lead up.

One major hand I remember. With an all-in in front of me, I raised to my all-in as well with ATh, as I had been blinded down from the get go. The person to my left thinks and folds, then my friend the chip leader also calls. He shows AKo, and the other all-in has…AKo. Hey, if I’m going to be up against Big Slick, it’s better that there is two of them.

What sucked was the player to my left who decided to show his cards now that there was no more betting to go – KT. Damn, there goes one of my outs.

Flop, no hearts or picture cards, so there goes my straight or flush chance. Turn, pairs the 6 on the board. I say loudly “Fuck – I got two outs. Only a ten will help me”.

Thank you Gambling Gods.

A ten hit the river, and you could here the noise from my place. I tripled up and never looked back, taking first and making a $10 profit for the night.

Back to when the loud mouth paid the buy in for my friend – I felt a weird sense of pride. You see, nobody in my close circle of friends like poker, and it was a bit of a risk taking one of them to these games. Even though the money isn’t big, it is still money. And we all know how hard it is to explain playing poker for money to the un-initiated that think it will be patronised by mafia and underground criminal types. But here was this guy, knew my friend for all of 5 minutes and was willing to pay for him just so he could get a decent game going. That is what home game poker is all about. I tell you, I was very proud.

I spoke to my friend on the way home, see how he liked it and what he thought and if he would go again. It was funny, he said he had a great time and would come again, but it was a massive eye opener for him.

“All these people, for seven hours all they talked about was poker. The topic never changed once. It was like this underground cult thing”.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

I only know all these people through poker. I have never seen any of them except when cards were at the table. In my life, in my circle of friends like I have already said, none are interested in poker. It is hard to talk to them about the World Series and the recent raid’s in Adelaide when they know nothing about them and have even less interest. When I go to the poker games, it’s like a big purge. I imagine most of the other players are the same too, they can’t share the passion with anybody else and it is an obvious common ground amongst the group. But it was funny seeing it from an outsiders point of view. He said he could only understand half of what was being said, but I’m glad he wasn’t scared off.


DuggleBogey said...

Fantastic Post. Keep up the GREAT work!

Just A Fish said...

Ah, The Late Show. They don't make sketch comedy like that any more.

Heafy said...

Just a fish - you just made my day.

Just A Fish said...

You're welcome. Actually, I was a bit worried it might have originated in The D-Generation.

skitch said...

Quads? Overrated! :)

My wife and I have every Adam Sandler (comedy) movie that's available on DVD, but have yet had a chance to see The Longest Yard.

Our favorite movie to have running in the background while making dinner or cleaning house is WaterBoy. Classic!

ArturiusX said...